Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2023 |
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Last week, I volunteered with Hope Services for two of the evening shifts for the annual federally mandated Homeless Point-In-Time Count. It was heartwarming and I learned a lot.
Many of the homeless people we met were just plain out of luck. I was quite surprised by how many have full-time jobs but can not afford rent. Some are mentally ill. There are families with children living in cars. I met homeless men with jobs who each evening distribute food to those who have not eaten that day.
Hope Services passed out blankets, sweatshirts, Narcan, food, and hygiene kits (a bar of soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc). You would have thought it was Christmas with how much joy and appreciation those simple gifts brought. I will definitely volunteer again next year.
Cindy Ku’upua Whitehawk
Your voice matters
There are a lot of big changes happening all over the Big Island and not many people are taking the time to voice their opinions and be heard, and your voice matters.
How do you like Ironman? There was a public County Council meeting days ago where the public had 3 minutes each to voice how they felt about the last two-day Ironman and there was only one testimony given. Anyone could have given testimony on what happened in their lives because of this event because your testimony can help change things, but you have to take the time to give it.
BigIslandSupport.com has pages that will show you where to go to learn about public meetings and how to get on their email lists so you can stay informed and be able to voice your opinion heard. You can either email the county council before their meetings, go in person to their meetings or join their zoom meetings online. Whatever time you have your voice can be heard. Do you want to support local petitions that are trying to stop more resort developments? You can sign and comment on them at the website.
It takes time to voice your opinion and your voice matters but if the County Council doesn’t hear you, they won’t know how you feel about anything. The council are people whom I believe will listen to what you have to say and take it all into consideration because your voice matters.
Some people believe these people don’t care what you have to say because big companies have the money but I believe it does matter, and it’s up to you to share how you feel.
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